My memory takes me back to several decades ago when I got admission in my first school. Apart from the fact that it was the closest to my house, I think my cousin studying there was another consideration to seek admission in that school. Of course years later with my father’s job transfers we did change a couple of schools thereafter. What I am trying to drive the attention to, is the verity that the school admission procedure, over the years has drastically changed and how.
Being an education based entrepreneur, I interact with different set of parents across the globe. On several occasions I hear parents echoing anecdotes I had heard from parents in a different part of the world. This uniform sanctity towards education, in my initial days at work use to amaze me. What remains constant in every admission conversation is the gaining acceptance of learning being more child centric and enduring.
However the differences have also been great learnings.
While distance is one of the major determining factors, I have come across parents who are willing to travel that extra mile or relocate near a particular school if they sought admission there. Often these schools carry great prestige, have held fort for years, proven academic excellence through great results or in some cases offer great infrastructure and co-scholastic facilities. The point I am trying to make is that while the aim is predominantly quality of learning, the factors determining this quality differ from parent to parent.
Addressing the school admission situation in terms of the current scenario, the safety, sanitisation and digital interface of schools will be a key factor for parents to look out for while seeking admissions henceforth.
COVID 19 has forced all of us to face the reality that at times we have to fight for our safety against an unseen enemy, which is not easy. For the longest time the source of transmission remained unidentified thus one could only protect himself/herself by staying at home. Parents must understand that with the reopening, while schools will be making adequate arrangements to stagger seatings, limit the number of students and condemn all social gatherings, preparing the child for this new normal must start from home. If your child is just beginning school this procedure might be a tad easy as the child has no previous experience of being in school but if your child is joining a new school, it is important that at the time of admission as parents you take a proper understanding about social distancing norms in the school. Once the counsellor and school staff has briefed you, take time out with your child and take him/her through all the steps patiently. Answer your child’s question with apt rationale and if you do not know the answer ensure you make a follow up call to the school to clarify the same. A well informed child is always mentally strong in new circumstances.
While I am sure that by now, children are hands-on with hygiene basics, it is good to seek the school’s sanitisation protocol and educate yourself and your child with the same.
Lastly, while seeking admission parents must look out for the digital reach of the school. Is the staff trained to use online tools ? Does the school have an IT system in place that proactively disperses information even when the school is not functional ? Can assignments, reports cards and interaction with the principal be arranged virtually ? These are few questions that as parents you must dwell upon.
‘Going to school’ will change now for certain. Initially as parents you might have worried days thinking about your child at school. Some might even take admission but stick to the online classes. Learning, however will go on and sooner or later just as the masks have become an integral part of our clothing and sanitiser an essential in grocery list, we will overcome this and accept life in a new way.